A testimonial from M. Jean Marie Aurand, the Chairman of the Académie Amorim and honorary Managing Director of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

I see the cork stopper as much more than a mere stopper. When it is pulled from the bottle, it releases the full aromas of the wine, to which it has also contributed. It is an indispensable pre-requisite for a good tasting experience. It has proved its worth over time and is an incomparable symbol of quality. Is there anything better than the cork stopper to add value to a bottle of wine? Is there anything that better conveys the profound emotion of a winetasting event?

During my experience with OIV, I have travelled extensively to discover different wine countries and have noticed that, all over the world, the cork stopper prevails over other closures.

In addition to its physical qualities, in terms of elasticity and insulation, cork has a primary virtue, which inevitably elicits a consumer response: it is a completely ecological material. If there were no cork oak forests in the western Mediterranean basin, the region’s entire environmental balance would be undermined. It is estimated that cork oak forests are responsible for the sequestration of 400 million tons of CO2. There is absolutely no comparison with plastic! A plastic stopper emits 10 times more CO2 than a cork stopper, and an aluminium capsule even more – 25 times!

I am extremely optimistic about the future of cork and cork stoppers, whose production provides a boost to the economy, with 100,000 jobs created in this industry. I am also pleased by the growth of Amorim which this year is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

This company has known how to innovate and conquer markets throughout the world. It has charted a beautiful trajectory, accompanied by sponsorship initiatives in the world of wine such as the Académie Amorim, which I am honoured to chair. The world of wine needs to be supported and our mission at Académie Amorim is to make it recognised in all its dimensions – oenological, environmental, economic and legal.

Today we are undoubtedly rediscovering the virtues of natural products – and cork certainly has something important to say.